📺 RECORDING | How to Lead in Crisis: In Conversation with Bruno Donat

Bruno Donat, Chief of the Geneva office of the United Nations Mine Action Service, shares how to adapt in crises, from disarming combatants to promoting diversity in the UN.


Bruno Donat, Chief of the Geneva office of the United Nations Mine Action Service, explores how to adapt to difficult circumstances and enact change.



03:35 - How did you begin working in humanitarian mine action and reach this point in your career?

09:00 - Can you share a time when you had to make a difficult decision during a role in conflict management?

16:23 - When you're dealing with parties who have varying interests to yours, it must be complicated to reach a decision. How do you find a solution that accommodates both of your goals? 

22:39 - Why are prioritisation and sequencing so important to you? Can you share a story when these have been critical during your work?

31:01 - How did your campaign for racial equity in the UN begin?

37:30 - Do you have any general advice for young people interested in peacekeeping or humanitarian work, either in the UN or in another capacity?

43:20 [Audience Question] - You mentioned how important it is for leaders to ask questions. You have seen a lot of seriously bad things happen; how do you avoid becoming cynical or judgemental and believing you already know all the answers?

    47:22 - [Audience Question] How do you go about agile problem-solving in a time of crisis within the structure and bureaucracy of the UN? 

    52:00 - [Audience Question] Working in a hierarchical organisation with many large and influential members, do you at times feel restricted with what you can do, or feel that you should have responded to something you couldn't? How do you reconcile this?

    56:58- [Audience Question] You earlier mentioned certain skills, i.e. language and creativity. How did you come across your personal strengths during your career to attain the leadership position you have now?




    Bruno Donat, Chief, UNMAS Geneva

    With more than 20 years in international affairs, Mr. Bruno Donat is the Chief of the Geneva office of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the component within the Department of Peace Operations which works to eliminate the threat posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices. Just before this posting, Mr. Donat was the Chief of the Section of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) working on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) – of armed groups - and Community Violence Reduction. He was also previously the Team Leader for Political Affairs at the United Nations Mission for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) covering some 16 countries of the region. Earlier postings include Headquarters and country-level roles for both the United Nations and the World Bank, the last years of which he served in the Fragile States, Conflict, and Social Development unit of the World Bank’s Africa Region. 


    Kayla Kim, Marketing Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

    Kayla was a Laidlaw Scholar in 2019, researching national, regional, and local identity in northern Tajikistan through the lens of women's fashion. After graduating from the University of Oxford in 2020, she worked in the Geneva office of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) as a Communications Coordinator. She now manages marketing for the Laidlaw Foundation.

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